The US would be in a bigger mess under Clinton than it is under Trump, historian Niall Ferguson says

Key Points
  • A Hillary Clinton presidency would have wrought more chaos says Niall Ferguson.
  • The historian added that Trump is bringing the United States a period of catharsis.
  • Ferguson rejected suggestions that The New York Times and The Washington Post would publish fake news.
Trump is not 'king,' historian Niall Ferguson says

A Hillary Clinton presidency would have been even more disruptive that the current Donald Trump administration, historian and prolific author Niall Ferguson told CNBC on Thursday.

"There would have been an almost immediate impeachment process," Ferguson said in an interview with CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Ambrosetti Forum in Italy on Thursday.

"More importantly, Trump supporters would have bought the story that the election had been rigged and you would have had Trump supporters with their pitchforks, or more likely semi-automatics, in a very ugly mood," he added.

An anonymous op-ed published by The New York Times on Wednesday painted a chaotic picture of the way President Trump runs The White House. It detailed an ongoing effort within the U.S. government to essentially derail Trump's agenda.

That followed a preview Tuesday of an upcoming book written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward that quotes unhappy administration insiders and says the Trump team is enduring a "nervous breakdown of executive power."

"I actually think the United States would be in an even bigger mess if she (Clinton) had won," said Ferguson before adding that the U.S. is undergoing catharsis by getting the "massive piece of disruption" that it voted for in Trump.

The senior fellow at Stanford University also said that Trump's base support remains on-board with the president, but may at some stage wonder if they have taken a gamble too far.

Ferguson added that Trump was not a king or an emperor and that there were 63 different agencies working to administer the United States.

"When you look at what they are up to, it is a different story. The Trump administration's economic policy has not been a disaster, contrary to the predictions of some economists who said there would be a complete market meltdown," Ferguson said, adding that in fact the market had "melted up."

On foreign policy, Ferguson said Trump had changed policy on China, North Korea and the Middle East and that most of the changes should be considered improvements.

Media bias

Trump has issued attack after attack on certain portions of the media, claiming that there is bias against right-wing policy.

Niall Ferguson: Battle between Washington, Silicon Valley to continue

Ferguson said Trump's longstanding complaint that The New York Times and The Washington Post hold an agenda against him "would probably be true," but rejected the idea that they would publish fake news.

"The attack on the mainstream media is just a reenactment of the Nixon presidency. Richard Nixon used to say the exact same things about The New York Times and Washington Post," he said.

On Trump's recent attacks on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Ferguson claimed that the president and his supporters have turned on Silicon Valley after realizing that social media bosses are "never going to let the 2016 general election happen again."